Over the years I’ve noticed periodic confusion concerning the difference between a Maintenance Shop, an Authorized Service Center and an FAA-Certified Repair Station. Unless your aircraft is new or late-model the three entities may tend to run together. But they are really very different.
Your local shop might be the home airport of your favorite mechanic. If he signs off your annual inspection that means he has earned an Inspection Authorization from the FAA. He is personally insuring that your airplane is safe and airworthy. Your local A&P mechanic can change your tire but he or she can’t reinstate your Airworthiness Certificate like the IA can.
An Authorized Service Center is authorized by a manufacturer (but not necessarily the FAA) to provide warranty service on that OEMs’ product or products.
Like the A&P who gets his IA or a pilot who earns an ATP, an FAA-Certified Repair Station is the highest level of outside certification you can achieve in the aircraft maintenance business. In another industry it might be, oh, a PhD. A Repair Station basically certifies the process by which your aircraft is deemed to be safe, and it has a system to consistently duplicate that process over and over. If the Repair Station also happens to be an Authorized Service Center it means there is additional factory oversight of the operation. And if the Repair Station employs IAs, well, you really can’t ask for anything more - you have about as much security and oversight as you can get.
But you could ask about recurrent training. And if you asked Skytech about recurrent training this year you’d be told that the IAs and A&Ps in our Factory-Authorized, FAA-Certified Repair Station earned the FAA’s Diamond Award – meaning our maintenance personnel completed annual recurrent training - for the 8th year in a row. And in the State of South Carolina we were, yet again, the only aviation service provider in the state to earn the Diamond Award. It’s our version of belts and suspenders - backed up by another belt. What it means to you is that we provide a higher level of safety for our customers. And we’re proud of our guys for working at it so hard.